Read at Wine Enthusiast
Chile is home to the highest number of active volcanos in South America, with its main winegrowing regions featuring soils composed of volcanic material. The country's geological features, including the Coastal and Andes mountain ranges, are a result of the subduction of tectonic plates.
"As a result, the Coastal Cordillera rose," explains Chilean geologist Eder González. "The Nazca plate continues subducting, making magma and gas that form and feed the volcanos of the Andes."
The movement of tectonic plates is also responsible for the occurrence of earthquakes, with Chile experiencing the largest recorded earthquake in history. Although Chile is not commonly recognized for its volcanic wine regions, there are select areas in the lesser-known southern and austral regions with volcanic soils suitable for viticulture.
"While these soils do exist in Chile, they are mainly found in high altitudes in the Andes Mountains. Due to factors such as low temperatures and altitude, these areas are not well-suited for viticulture. But there are small wine regions that are currently developing and have this kind of soil."